At Your Appointment

Opioid Pain Pills Appointment Guide

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Ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment. Answer two questions below to personalize your appointment guide.
  • Please describe the symptoms and issues you’re having that led you to schedule this online appointment. Start at the beginning of this current episode and tell me how and when things have changed and progressed.
  • Are you still taking an opioid medicine?
  • How often are you having symptoms of OIC?
  • How much water are you drinking on a daily basis?
  • How much fiber are you getting on a daily basis? Are you using a fiber supplement?
  • How much exercise are you getting during an average week?
  • Do you feel that your medicine for OIC is effective? Is it helping?
  • Describe your symptoms. Are you having hard or lumpy stools, straining to pass stool, a feeling of incomplete emptying after a stool, or feeling like there is an obstruction to passing stool?
  • Are your symptoms present with more than one out of every four bowel movements?
  • How often are you having bowel movements? More or fewer than three per week?
  • Do you need to use laxatives in order to have a bowel movement?
  • Have you recently started or changed an opioid medicine or increased the dose of an opioid medicine?
  • What side effects are you noticing with your medicine for opioid-induced constipation?
  • What tests and treatments have you had so far?
  • What new symptoms are you experiencing?
  • What is the best treatment for my opioid-induced constipation?
  • Could another medical condition be causing or contributing to my constipation?
  • How do you diagnose opioid-induced constipation?
  • What treatments are available for opioid-induced constipation?
  • Why do ordinary laxatives fail to relieve my symptoms?
  • What is the best treatment for my opioid-induced constipation?
  • How soon can I expect to see improvements in my opioid-induced constipation?
  • What changes do I need to make to my diet?
  • What other lifestyle changes or therapies could help my opioid-induced constipation?
  • What should I do if my OIC symptoms get worse?
  • Are there other OIC treatments that would do a better job of helping my symptoms?
  • Are my new or different symptoms related to OIC or is something else going on?
  • Do you believe my symptoms are due to opioid use or another problem, such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)? Why do you think this?
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2018 Nov 1
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  1. Constipation. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/constipation/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354259 
  2. Gregorian T, Lewis J, Tsu L. Opioid-induced constipation: clinical guidance and approved therapies. US Pharm. 2017;42(12)15-19